Canadian campus-community radio station CKIC-FM, known as 92.9 Kick FM, will cease its terrestrial broadcasts at 4pm today and plans to return its license to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
The license is set to expire on August 31, 2012. Kick FM is operated by the non-profit Cre-Comm Radio Inc. and broadcasts out of studios at Red River College in Winnipeg. In January, the station issued statements explaining that the future of the station was uncertain.
A statement posted by Cre-Comm’s Board of Directors yesterday states,
“92.9 KICK FM went on-air almost 10 years ago with a mandate to provide a radio broadcast training forum for students that resembled, as near as possible, the operation of a commercial radio station. Red River College provided the transmitter and facilities as well as start-up funding, with the goal that the radio station become self sustaining over a period of time. Despite never being able to achieve this, the College continued to fund the station.
As a result of recent changes to CRTC regulations regarding campus and community radio stations, and financial challenges, the Board of Cre-Comm Radio Inc. has decided to discontinue over the air broadcasting effective Wednesday, July 4, 2012 at 4:00pm, and will be returning the current broadcast licence to the CRTC.
Radio training at Red River College will continue uninterrupted, and the plan is for KICK FM to resume streaming in the fall.”
A Winnipeg Free Press article today includes commentary from a Red River College instructor who mentioned the challenges of not only streaming, but also of running a hybrid campus-community radio station,
“Students may get some good training through streaming and that’s fine, but it’s not the same as being on the air and having the community listening in…The station was a funny deal from the very beginning. No one was really clear if it was training students or open to the community or neither. And then it kind of got hijacked by a lot of non-students. So this is not a surprise.”
According to a May 28, 2012 Broadcasting Notice of Consultation, Cre-Comm had applied for license renewal, proposing to operate CKIC as a campus station. The notice states:
“The licensee proposes to operate the undertaking under the conditions of licence applicable to campus radio stations set out in Standard conditions of licence for campus and community radio stations, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2012-304, 22 May 2012 and will adhere to the following condition of licence: The licensee shall devote no more than 25% of its total weekly programming to student-produced programming to fulfil course requirements.”
The Notice also points out some problems with CKIC’s application and states:
“It appears that the licensee may have failed to comply with the Radio Regulations, 1986 concerning the filing of annual returns for the 2005-2006 to 2009-2010 broadcast years. The Commission has received a complaint regarding the programming of CKIC-FM as well as complaints concerning the licensee’s governance and management structure.”
According to the article in the Winnipeg Free Press, Cre-Comm pulled out of the application process:
“David Wiebe, chairman of Cre-Comm Radio, said it initially applied for a campus and community radio licence, but later withdrew the application. He said a lack of funding from the college and the wish to focus on training students, not community members, were reasons for the decision.”
It’s unclear what this decision means for the students in the Creative Communications program at Red River College, although Kick FM’s statement indicates that radio training will continue.